Stephan Stolze, Key Largo chef, commits suicide with kitchen knife in dining room
Stephan Stolze, chef at Key Largo’s Steamers restaurant, apparently fatally stabbed himself in the neck with a knife grabbed from the kitchen in front of his co-workers, in the dining room.
The Miami Herald reports that Stolze, age 46, emerged from the kitchen with a large knife and “walked out into the seating area with the knife held to the right side of his neck.”
There were no customers in the restaurant at the time.
Stolze’s colleague Don Barton said he did not know how severely Stolze was wounded, so he began to mop up the blood so incoming customers would not see it.
A bartender, Veronica Dunn, saw Stolze run to his apartment, which is upstairs from the restaurant. Barton called restaurant manager Robin Schaupp, who was at a meeting at Gilbert’s Marina next to Steamer’s. Schaupp entered the apartment and followed a blood trail that led him to Stolze’s balcony. Stolze was lying face down, unresponsive.
Karina Schaupp, his mother who owns the restaurant, arrived and was unable to locate Stolze’s pulse when she checked him.
His co-workers claim the man was depressed after splitting with his girlfriend. He had recently begun acting strangely, they told police. Karina Schaupp also told investigators that Stolze wanted to return to his home country of Germany after the breakup.